Monday, May 1, 2017

Cajamarca (From Ripples)

Another adventure from the Ripples.   I love these pictures!

Here are a few pics of Cajamarca, almost 9,000 ft above sea level in the Andes, with a population of 250,000.  Banos del Inca is just down the road a few kilometers.  While Trujillo is a desert (most of the time) the farm lands around Cajamarca are lush and green. We got rained on most every day in the late afternoon. Some fruit and vegetables are grown, but the main stays are dairy and some mining. They make excellent cheeses for export. The first two pictures are of the famous Ransom Room. The Spanish conquistador, Pizarro captured the last Inca king, Atahualpa, at Banos del Incas.  He gave the Incas the chance to save their sovereign. They promised to free him if the Incas filled the room once with gold and twice with silver.  They did, and the Spaniards kept their promise. They freed Atahualpa's head from his body and thus freed him from the cares of this world. That was maybe the first lesson the Spaniards gave in what happens when you trust a white man. The second lesson was when they destroyed everything in the area that the Incas had built  with the hope of totally erasing  their influence in their zeal to bring them Christianity.  I suppose they left the ransom room in case they missed some treasures and might want to use it again.   It was many years and a lot of bloodshed before the Spanish  conquistadors were finally beaten and kicked out. Of course, by then, there was little left to steal. What is unique about Inca construction is that they used random sized blocks of stone that were squared and fitted to each other with joints so tight that you cannot slide a knife blade in anywhere. No mortar is used.  I think it is amazing given that all the work was done with chisel and hammer, and stone sizes go from very large to huge. #3. is the "Inca Seat"  It is carved into bedrock at the top of the Appalonia hill, with a view of a part of Cajamarca in the background. #4, 5 & 6  are on the Appalonia steps. We started from Inca del Banos and got a combi to the top of the steps and climbed down instead of up. In 5 the lady with the big hat is selling jello. That seems to be a popular item for street vendors. They make it in plastic cups.  The sash is how they carry all sorts of things. Sometimes they are used to carry a baby in the back, or like a snuggli in the front.  In this sash is a 5 gallon bucket full of cups of jello with layers separated with discs of cardboard.  Along either side of the Appalonia stairs toward the bottom are some buildings of Spanish Colonial design. There are better examples in the area but I can't include any more pics here. Peter

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